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  1. This made me cry. My daughter is finishing first grade in public school and we have made the decision to home school starting next year. I see everything in her you described from the stomach aches, attitude, and behavior. She is so excited to home school. I am so hopeful that my joyful child returns once she is out. It’s been a hard decision because all of the teachers and staff are always saying how wonderful she is doing…. but she’s different and she isn’t happy. That has to be what matters most. It took me almost this whole year to get hubby on board. But he finally said that if she finishes out the year she can stay home!

  2. Hi Heather!

    That was a great post! I’m soooo glad that your son came back to you. What a sweet and inspiring story. God is sooo good.

    I found you at the Grace and truth link up. Love your homeschooling encouragement! (I home school, too!)


  3. Hi Emma! I’m glad to hear that Heather’s story touched you. It’s beautiful to see your openness to do whatever schooling method may be best for your daughter–whether that’s homeschooling or another method! I’m praying that God will make it clear the best path for your child for next year! If you should choose homeschooling, we’ve got lots of great resources here at Your Vibrant Family to encourage you, including this post which is a compilation of many of those: I’ve also written two books that may be helpful: Plan to Be Flexible: Designing an Homeschool Rhythm and Curriculum Plan That Works for Your Family and the Back to School Survival Manual: A Girlfriend’s Guide to an Organized and Successful Homeschool Year Blessings to you!

  4. What a powerful post! I’m seeing the same thing in my first grader – her whole personality has changed this year. The only difference is that she ISN’T doing so well academically, either. It’s enough to make us consider homeschooling for next year and this post confirms that I’m on the right path! #ThoughtfulSpot

  5. Hi Janis! Thank you! Yes, Heather’s example is a great one: Listening to our kids and meeting their individual needs, no matter what the outcome! Thank you for sharing and I’m glad you found the site through Grace and Truth! Hope to see you back again soon!

  6. A wonderful post. Knowing your child. Understanding his needs. Changing when you needed to change. Well done.
    Blessings on your homeschooling challenges.
    I am following you from Grace and Truth linkup.

  7. Fantastic! I think, no matter what, the most important thing is that we’re giving each child whatever learning environment they need. I’m glad to hear you’ve found that for your daughter!

  8. A great post! We went through something similar with my oldest daughter. Instead of homeschooling, we sent her to a Montessori school nearby (which in my opinion is practically homeschooling since kids can learn at their own pace). What I want more than anything is for my kids to love learning and that just wasn’t happening at public school. Best decision we ever made.

  9. Gale, thank you for sharing your son’s story!! I completely understand what you’re saying about the pressures often found in regular school… often as early as Kindergarten! A dear friend of mine has spent the last year “de-schooling” her kids after they’ve spent their first years in a traditional school format. The biggest thing she keeps telling me is that they are so burdened by a pressure to perform. While I don’t believe that homeschooling is the best option for every child in every situation, there’s no doubt that it can really be a blessing both for the child and for the entire family. Thank you again for your heartfelt comment!

  10. This mirrors my story with my youngest so much, except for two things: He was my youngest, so the growing up too early wasn’t the case…in fact, he was emotionally young for his age, AND nothing academic ever came easy to him, unlike his older brothers.

    He cried his way through Kindergarten. At first I thought maybe it was because his grandma passed away his first week of Kindergarten. Or that it was a phase that would end. But no, it was every day. And while he had been attempting to draw letters and make pictures at home he reverted to scribbling in school. His teacher was sweet. But he just wasn’t ready for it.

    AND, I think Kindergarten has gotten too academic…too much pressure. My first clue was when they said, at the parent teacher meeting, that they “wouldn’t be learning shapes and colors” but would be “reading at a level you’ll be amazed by” by the end of the year. Then there was an article by a former KG teacher about why she left, after 20+ years of teaching, that clued me into more of what was happening…how kids now were pressured in KG into learning skills that used to not be expected until 1st grade, how play was leaving the classroom, and how it was all for testing, running against what research showed (that early academic pressure was bad for long term learning…that it risked kids burning out while giving very little long term rewards). When, towards the end of the year our Kindergarden teacher told me that she and the other teachers were pushing for more play-based learning, but were discouraged from doing too much of that now by the administration, I knew that sending my child back was the wrong choice.

    It’s why we homeschool. The first 6 months or so was just breaking out of the fear of learning my child had developed.

  11. Hi Beth! Thank you for sharing this here! I also can relate to your situation. Our oldest began a part-time homeschool program about a year ago because homeschool just wasn’t a good fit anymore. I would love to talk to you more about this. Emailing you now. 🙂

  12. Interestingly, my story is that enrolling my daughter part-time in a private school “brought her back”. We have always homeschooled, but it wasn’t working for my one (of 5) children. She needed more structure than I could give her and our relationship was deteriorating with battles over learning. Giving her an opportunity to use her leadership traits outside of our home has done wonders for her academically & character-wise, plus brought restoration to our relationship. I’ve written about it on my blog. (I’d love to share my story as part of this “homeschool confessions” series).

  13. Krista, what a wonderful story! I’m sure you have much great advice to share with 18 years of homeschool experience behind you! Thank you for reminding those of us still in the trenches that it’s worth the hard work!!

  14. what a wonderfully positive story – I’m so glad he found his love of learning again and you’ve got your little boy back! thanks for sharing on our #OverTheMoon link up ~ Leanne 🙂

  15. It is awesome that you saw the need and decided to homeschool your son. I am not surprised that he responded positively to the homeschool environment. I homeschooled my kids for 18 years. It was not always easy and it was a sacrifice, but I am glad I did it. Homeschooling allowed them to be who they were and develop self confidence, something I didn’t have a lot of at their age. Both my sons were homeschooled through high school, went to college and became mechanical engineers. Homeschooling is worth all the hard work.

  16. This is a beautiful story. We’ve homeschooled all along, and I know- from having been a classroom teacher- that my children would not have thrived in a traditional school.

  17. Yes, Leanne…I am grateful we discovered it when we did. But, I know that love for learning can come back! I pray that for your family!

  18. I looked at my husband six weeks into our first homeschooling year and said the exact same thing – “We have our son back.” Our smart, funny, loving, goofy, happy boy who had every last bit of joy drummed right out of him after constant bullying from other kids and utter indifference from public schools. I am so grateful we were able to do this.

  19. Excellent post! Looking back, I wish I had pulled my oldest out of school much sooner. I think we actually crushed his love for learning when he was going to public school. Daily I’m finding reasons that I’m so glad that we made the switch to homeschooling!

  20. This brings tears to my eyes. What a beautiful thing to find what works for your son and give him the life he needs and deserves. No matter what schooling a family chooses, it always makes me happy to see when parents take the time to make the fit right. It makes a world of difference.

  21. Alice, same thing happened here! The song in his heart changed…if that doesn’t sound overly melodramatic! But, it’s true. He would occassionally sing a song he learned in gym class (that I would have preferred him NOT sing), but songs from church were no longer the soundtrack to his life. That has changed for us too! Thanks for sharing that and helping me remember to be grateful for that too!

  22. We had the exact same experience. My daughter thrived in an arts-based preschool with a small class full of older-than-her children, but she began to wither the first day of kindergarten. She cried every day. Stomach aches. Nervous ticks. Pale skin. We even changed schools to little avail. We did medical testing. Then we did homeschooling. At first I wasn’t sure we’d made the right choice as I tried to continue along the classical-education lines, but after I relaxed and let her lead, she flourished, jumping grade(s) when allowed small spurts of her own pace. Homeschooling saved her. And me.

  23. For my son, it was when he started singing again. I didn’t even really realize he had stopped.

  24. Great post!! I loved your personal story & how you noticed the changes in your son. It’s wonderful to know ti is working well. 🙂

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